Two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions here in the U.S. are to lose weight and get fit. These are both worthy goals, but be very careful if they’re yours. Losing weight often involves dieting, which involves reducing your fat intake – and that can lead to the reduction of the wrong fats.
Contrary to popular belief, fat is not the enemy. In fact, healthy fats are essential to a healthy body – and therein lies the key: healthy fats.
Among other nutritional benefits, avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats – the kind of fats your body needs to be healthy. In fact, the good cholesterol found in avocados’ monounsaturated fats (HDL) actually reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body.
Eating avocados is a smart way for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores to consume lots of creamy, delicious fat without all the negative side effects.
7 Health Benefits of Eating Avocados
So! Healthy fats. That’s a bonus benefit. Here are 7 other scientifically-proven health benefits of adding avocados to your meal.
- They’re packed with fiber. A single avocado has about 9 grams of fiber (more than 25% of the daily-recommended allowance (RDA)) Fiber is good for your heart and good for your digestive tract. It keeps things moving through your system, reduced cholesterol and it also helps to balance blood sugar levels by regulating the rate at which sugar enters your blood stream.
- Nutritional values read like a multivitamin. Scan down the list of nutrients housed in a single avocado and it feels like you’re reading the nutritional information on the side of a daily multivitamin. A 3.5 ounce serving of avocado contains 10% or more of the RDA of:
–Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid (20% RDA)
–Vitamin K (26% of RDA)
Avocados also contain smaller amounts of vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), zinc, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and manganese.
- It’s a superfood. The designation of a superfood means that a food product packs a valuable nutritional punch without any bad cholesterol, salt and is low in fat. Avocados meet all those requirements. Plus, at only 160 calories per fruit (they are a fruit since there’s a seed inside), 2 grams of protein and 9 grams of monounsaturated fat, they help to fill you up without needing a whole lot of calories.
- Avocados have more potassium than a banana. Potassium is an essential mineral because it facilitates a healthy heartbeat and cell function. Bananas are often touted as a natural potassium supplement – and they are. However, they don’t hold a candle to the amount of potassium found in an avocado. While a whole banana contains about 10% of your RDA of potassium, a 3.5 ounce serving of avocado has about 14% of your RDA, and that’s not even the whole avocado!
- Reduce arthritis symptoms. Avocados have gained notoriety in the press lately due to recent studies that show avocados can reduce the painful and debilitating side-effects of arthritis, especially for osteoarthritis patients who have trouble with their knees and/or hips.
- They lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. After your annual wellness visit, your doctor provides you with readings of your healthy cholesterol (HDLs), bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. Ideally, you want your LDL to be in the higher range, while your LDL and triglycerides should be lower. Depending on your age, genetics and lifestyle habits – many adults find their measurements are in the opposite categories. If this is the case for you, adding avocado to your diet can boost good cholesterol and lower your LDL and triglyceride levels. These findings are enhanced even further if you migrate towards a more vegetarian diet.
- Sponge up extra nutrients. Remember we said it’s not a good idea to completely eliminate fat from your diet? Some nutrients, like vitamins A, D, E, and K are considered fat-soluble. This means they need to be ingested along with fat, in order for your body to absorb them. If you cut fat out of your diet, these fat-soluble nutrients can run right through your digestive tract without being absorbed. The same holds true for certain antioxidants. Including avocados or avocado oil in your salads, snacks and meals helps your body to make the most of any fat-soluble nutrients it consumes.
We’re lucky to live here in California where avocados grow profusely and have a shorter distance to travel to find their lucky grocery store purchaser. Visit Golden Gate Organics and place your order. Ripe, delicious and nutritious, certified-organic avocados will be waiting on your doorstep before you know it.